The ‘SNL’ alum’s latest Netflix movie, ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,’ has made him extremely popular.
There has never been a better time for a chuckle in America than right now, and Will Ferrell’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, which arrived on Netflix this weekend, has rapidly become one of the streamer’s most popular films of the year so far. Not as humorous as some of Ferrell’s previous blockbusters, Eurovision has heart and a few unforgettable songs, such as “Volcano Man” or “Double Trouble,” to compensate.
We decided to take a look back at Ferrell’s career and identify his 10 best movies from A to Z, or Anchorman to Zoolander to put it in terms his fans would understand, after the misfire Holmes & Watson and a run of underwhelming sequels.
Although his Saturday Night Live movies — A Night at the Roxbury, Superstar, and The Ladies Man — and other hilarious TV roles as Deangelo Vickers on The Office and Ashley Schaeffer on HBO’s Eastbound & Down did not make the cut, Ferrell has been making me laugh since 1995 when I would stay up late to watch the show.
Downhill, in which Ferrell appeared alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a marital dramedy, and Ferrell’s portrayal of Watergate writer Bob Woodward in Dick were both omitted from this list. While seeing Daddy’s Home, Big Earl, and the Starsky & Hutch movie, I was particularly taken with Ferrell’s portrayal of Adam McKay’s daughter, Pearl, in the Funny or Die short “The Landlord.” The LEGO Movie featured Ferrell as the villain, and it was one of the most popular animated pictures of the decade, but Stranger than Fiction, which earned Ferrell his lone Golden Globe award for best actor in a leading role, is the one I’d pick.
When preparing this list, the unfortunate fact that Ferrell assumed brownface to play Dr. Evil’s Arab henchman Mustafa in the original Austin Powers movie came to light. It was Ferrell’s first studio film, and despite the fact that he’s hilarious in that small role, it was instantly ruled out of the running for the Best Actor award. However, we’re not here to lament Ferrell’s lapse in judgment; rather, we’re here to commemorate the highlights of his filmography, which have provided innumerable laughs to fans all around the world. Here we go, without further ado!
More on Eurovision, including if Rachel McAdams sings her own songs in the film, can be found here.
10. Wedding Crashers
In David Dobkin’s 2005 hit Wedding Crashers, Will Ferrell was revealed to be Vince Vaughn’s former wedding crash coach Chazz Reinhold in the third act. A 40-something guy who still lives with his mother and has been reduced to attending funerals in order to pick up women, Chazz is exposed in his red silk kimono, which reveals a healthy amount of chest hair.
Despite the fact that Ferrell’s participation in the film is more of a cameo than anything else, he absolutely kills it. There aren’t many roles for Ferrell that make you laugh out loud, but when Chazz yells at his mother for making meatloaf, you can’t help but smile. As a result of Wedding Crashers’ success, R-rated comedies based on male friendships like The Hangover, Pineapple Express, and 21 Jump Street were resurrected.
9. Stranger than Fiction
Several of my colleagues at Collider felt Marc Forster’s brilliant 2006 picture, which starred Will Ferrell in his first lead dramatic performance alongside Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, belonged on our list. As Harold Crick, Ferrell portrays an IRS employee whose life is narrated by a voice that tells him he is the protagonist of a story that ends with his death—an outcome that he desperately want to avoid. Maggie Gyllenhaal is Ferrell’s love interest, while Hoffman portrays the literary expert who helps him make sense of what’s going on.
Zach Helm’s clever script is directed with a light touch by Forster, and Ferrell provides a restrained performance that like the picture itself, focuses on the tiny things that we frequently take for granted. Aside from his performance, Ferrell’s casting as an IRS employee makes us root for him—a near-impossible feat that alone justifies his position on this sacred list.
8. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Since I was 17, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back has been my all-time favorite band. Ferrell plays Willenholly, a Federal Wildlife Marshal who claims authority over an escaped orangutan and conducts a chase to catch “the two most dangerous individuals on the earth” Kevin Smith’s screenplay has a certain funny charm to it, notably in the standoff scene between our two heroes and law officials, which Ferrell and Judd Nelson portray well. Because of the way Ferrell portrays it, we go along with Marshal Willenholly’s misunderstanding of an orangutan as a tiny child.
Before travelling to Hollywood to recover the lost monkey and apprehend the baddies, Willenholly falls prey to an amusing tribute to The Fugitive. Everyone then goes out to Morris Day and the Time for a night of dancing. This movie, which came out just a month before Zoolander, is a great reason to see it, if not for Ferrell’s moments with then-Daily Show host Jon Stewart, which may be worth the price of admission in and of itself.
7. The Other Guys
You won’t be disappointed with a second viewing of this 2010 buddy cop film. This was Ferrell’s fourth collaboration with his buddy Adam McKay, and it served as a springboard for the Daddy’s Home films. While following the lives of Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson’s star cops, Danson and Highsmith, it soon switches to Will Ferrell’s straight-laced detective Allen Gamble and his fiery partner Detective Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), as they investigate a financial scheme run by a billionaire (Steve Coogan) with the help of a crew of professional crooks (Steve Coogan, Samuel L. Jackson).
When McKay and Ferrell sat down to dinner with Wahlberg, they observed how well the two of them got along, and that connection is clearly visible in The Other Guys. Check out the film for nothing less than Wahlberg’s amazing response when he learns that Ferrell plays an idiot who marries Eva Mendes. Even if Will Ferrell is out of his element in that on-screen marriage, he’s totally at home in this PG-13 action comedy as well.
6. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
There’s no denying that Ferrell and Wahlberg have a good rapport on screen, but their partnership isn’t going to last forever. As for Ferrell and John C. Reilly, they’re the original Shake and Bake duo. Actor Will Ferrell portrays Ricky Bobby, who was educated by his father, Gary Cole, that “if you aren’t first, you are last.” Ricky has matured into a competent racecar driver, especially when teamed up with his best friend Cal on the track (Reilly). Cal and Ricky Bobby’s friendship was put at risk when a French Formula One driver (Sacha Baron Cohen) joined the squad.
What matters in Talladega Nights is not just how fast you go, but also what you do in the race, especially to your family. If your sons are named Walker and Texas Ranger, this is doubly true. On video, Ferrell appears to be an arrogant snob who has no idea what to do with his hands, even after he’s urinated in the morning. If Jesus, Allah, or my Jewish God can’t help me with that small request, then I may have to appeal to Tom Cruise, The Man Himself. ‘The Magic Man and El Diablo’
I enjoy making others smile. My favorite facial expression is a broad grin. And this Christmas classic will put a smile on your face and offer you the kind of festive hug that makes your tongue expand. Buddy, a human who was adopted and nurtured by Santa’s elves, is played by Will Ferrell. While spreading holiday cheer in a cynical society, he sets out to see his biological father (a gruff James Caan). With Ferrell as the red-hot log on which the movie burns, director Jon Favreau gives Elf a sense of warmth that was missing from the initial plan for Carrey to star in. In addition to Zooey Deschanel, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Ed Asner’s Santa and Bob Newhart’s Papa Elf.
When Favreau employed force perspective to make Buddy the elf appear even larger in comparison to the other elves, Ferrel was able to improvise the song he sings in Santaland at Gimbels. Many of you are enamored with Elf and don’t care who knows it. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in my love of elflore. Unfortunately, there will be no Old School or Step Brothers sequel, and that may be for the best, given the poor reception to the sequels to Anchorman, Zoolander, and Daddy’s Home.
At a time when Americans needed a good laugh but were still hesitant to go to the movies following the September 11 attacks, Ben Stiller’s Zoolander was released in September 2001. However, despite its initial failure at the box office, it has now gone on to become a cult classic. Isn’t Jacobim Mugatu one of the greatest comedic villains? Inspired comic invention and hot little potato, Mugatu’s wild haircut and strange fashion sense blend perfectly with Stiller’s elevated perspective of the fashion industry.
Ferrell’s maniacal energy in this film provides the ideal counterpoint to Zoolander’s more laid-back demeanor. A dangerous foe who is capable of a high-stakes hit, he nevertheless has a kindly side. Zoolander’s small white poodle may be to blame for Zoolander’s misbehavior. If Ferrell licking lollipops while costumed as a small girl isn’t disturbing enough, am I hallucinating yet again?
3. Step Brothers
Brennan Huff doesn’t measure up to Ron Burgundy or even Frank the Tank on a character level, even if this is my favorite of Ferrell’s films. However, Brennan’s acting is actually funny, with some surprisingly poignant moments, as he is at times tender and unyielding. With Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Talladega Nights, the pair’s comedic rapport was already strong. Here, the two appear to be a couple of adolescent synchronized swimmers.
Having a mutual affinity for Step Brothers, which is a movie that smacks you in the crotch or the funny bone, may lead to my opponents and I becoming best friends. Boats & Hoes” is a timeless classic that will keep Prestige Worldwide in the thoughts of fans long after the Catalina Wine Mixer has been used up.
2. Old School
Will Ferrell became a legitimate cinematic star in 2004’s Old School, despite the fact that Zoolander didn’t do very well at the box office. There were Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn before Ferrell’s Frank the Tank made him a household name. Seeing Ferrell “go streaking” in a movie about three depressed 30-somethings who decide to relive their college days was all that mattered to you after seeing the teaser for the movie.
Before Joker, Todd Phillips’ undergraduate comedy showed the world what Will Ferrell can accomplish when he’s given free rein on the big screen, and it was released more than a decade before that. Even now, it seems ridiculous that he was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for his role in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me in the Third Film, which he lost to Mike Myers for the third Austin Powers movie. The movie gods may smile upon us one day and give us an Old School Dos, but perhaps that portion of Frank the Tank is over and done with. If that’s the case, and you tell anyone about it, I’ll fucking murder you, because that’s how you debate!
1. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
I have no regrets about making this decision at this point in time. A perfect combination of political incorrectness, a decent scotch, and pure lust, Ron Burgundy is probably certainly Ferrell’s best creation in comedy. This guy’s mustache is to die for! This guy’s eye contact is amazing! Is a performance that punches its audience in the face and then offers a cup of milk and a sensual jazz flute solo at the same time.
Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is a competitor co-anchor for Ron Burgundy in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and he initially protested her hire since she is a woman. Ron, that’s not very polite! After seeing an interview with a sexist anchorman from the ’70s, the concept for Anchorman was born, says director Adam McKay, who was inspired by it. Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner were among his histrionic co-stars, who embraced the misogynistic ideas of the day. McKay’s satire works 60 percent of the time.
Having an extraordinary sense of smell, Ron Burgundy can differentiate between a smelly pirate hooker, a whale’s vagina, hair that smells like cinnamon, and apartments that smell like rich mahogany. Anchorman 2 has lost its sense of smell, and as a result, it stinks. However, lovers of the original film can seek out Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie, which substitutes the film’s pregnant panda plot with a hippy bank robbery organization known as The Alarm Clock’s.
No matter how you look at it, Anchorman is the pinnacle of Jim Carrey’s career.